Wood flooring is a beautiful and smart way to finish your home or office, but there are some key things you can do to look after it so that it will continue to look great and last many years.
There are two ways of having ‘real’ wood flooring. Solid wood and engineered wood. Solid wood is made from a single piece of wood, whilst engineered flooring is built with different man-made layers with the final top layer being solid wood. Read more about the different types of wood flooring including laminate in our previous blog posts.
Below are some of our top tips for looking after both solid wood and engineered wood to keep them in peak condition.
Tip 1 – No Outdoor Shoes
Removing outdoor shoes is an effective way of stopping dirt and grit from coming into your house. These small particles of dirt can dull your wood flooring and cause small scratches if they are trampled into the floor.
A particular shoe we would advise caution with is high heeled shoes. Heels are much more likely to cause small dents in your wood floor and can scratch the surface more easily than other types of shoes. Whether they have been worn outside or not, take caution.
Tip 2 – Sweeping with a Soft Brush
Day-to-day, the most effective way of keeping your wood floor clean is to brush it with a soft-bristled brush or a micro-fibre mop such as those linked. This will help keep the dust and dirt off the floor and keep it looking good.
Tip 3 – Vacuum Weekly
Once a week it is advisable to vacuum your wood flooring. This will make sure all particles of dust and dirt are fully removed. However, do make sure you use a brush head setting or adapter so that you don’t accidentally scratch the floor as you vacuum.
Tip 4 – Cleaning with Care
If you want to clean your wood floor, use an appropriate pH balanced wood cleaner and micro-fibre cloth or mop. You only need a minimal amount of water with this.
Too much water will mark and stain your wood floor. If allowed to soak in, it could warp your flooring and cause a patch of swelling.
Only use specialist wood floor cleaning products. All-purpose cleaners can dull the finish on your flooring or worse still take off some of the oil or lacquer finish.
You may also see adverts for steam cleaning wood floors – please don’t do this, as high-pressure steam cleaning can damage your floor.
Tip 5 – Clean Spillages Straightaway
It’s important that your solid wood or engineered floor doesn’t get exposed to too much moisture. If a spillage should occur, it is important to wipe it up straight away to prevent any warping or staining.
If the spillage is caused by a glass of red wine, it is equally important to clean the area quickly to avoid any staining. If you do have a small stained area, you may be able to repair this yourself. See tip 7.
Tip 6 – Furniture Pads
Moving furniture is one of the ways that scratches and scuffs can be made to your wood floor. Try to lift heavy pieces of furniture up rather than dragging it to avoid making scratches and dents.
If you have wood flooring in your dining room, the chairs are constantly scraped and moved as people sit down and stand up. Applying furniture pads to chairs cushions the part that touches the floor. The pads attach to the furniture with a sticky adhesive that does not damage the furniture.
Tip 7 – Repairing an oiled Wood Floor
Engineered or solid wood flooring that is finished with an oil finish has a bit of protection from wear and tear but is not a waterproof layer. If some areas of your flooring get more wear or there is an area with a scuff or stain you could repair this relatively easily yourself.
This is done by using a specialist pH cleaner and fibre cloth and then re-applying a thin coat of oil to the affected area. If the area is slightly stained, you might need to sand the area carefully and clean again before applying the oil. Remember to wipe away the excess oil at the end.
Tip 8 – Repairing a Varnished or Lacquered Floor
If your flooring is lacquered or varnished it is more complicated to repair small areas and blend in with the surface around it, so you may be best to get a specialist in. However, because the varnish gives your flooring more durability than oiling, you should find that with regular careful cleaning it will stay in good order.
For an office or school floor with heavy traffic cleaning with appropriate pH balanced materials will be key to maintaining its original shine.
If your varnish wood flooring is peeling, you can sand the old layer of varnish off and re-apply. This is true for both domestic and commercial wood flooring.
Tip 9 – Sanding to Remove Scratches
If scratches and dents are quite deep, then it is possible to sand down both oiled and varnished wood flooring taking off a millimetre to get a new a smooth finish once again. With engineered wood, this is also possible, but there will be a limit to the number of times it can be done, given that there is a finite depth to the layer of wood.
Tip 10 – No Furniture Polish
Don’t use furniture polish on your wood flooring. Furniture polish will leave a slippery residue and could possibly damage the finish of your floor.
Get in Touch for more Advice
If you would like to investigate the options of solid wood or engineered wood flooring for your home or office, please feel free to call our team on 0117 963 7979.
This post was written by Binks